Senior tri-captain Ryan James
scored late in the second half, lifting the Bowling Green State University men's soccer team to a 2-1 win over host Appalachian State University Tuesday afternoon (Nov. 3). The match, the Falcons' final non-conference contest of the season, was held at the Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex.
Sophomore Alexis Souahy
also scored for the Falcons, who improve to 9-8-1 on the season. Souahy's goal was his first as a Falcon.LINKS
FINAL STATISTICS: HTML
"Winning is hard, and winning on the road is even harder," said BGSU head coach Eric Nichols
. "We didn't play our best soccer, but we made big plays in big moments."
The Falcons' first goal came in the 28th minute of the match. After a foul near midfield, junior Jacob Roth
took the ensuing free kick, and struck a long ball that sailed into the box. Souahy outleaped his would-be defender and headed the ball past ASU goalkeeper Paul West to give the Brown and Orange a 1-0 lead.
For Souahy, as mentioned, the goal was his first in a BGSU uniform. It was his third collegiate goal, as he scored a pair of goals last season as a freshman at Notre Dame College.
But, just over two minutes later, the Mountaineers (6-9-0) tied the score. ASU's leading scorer, Stephen Chapman received a ball in the box & knocked it past BGSU 'keeper Ryan Heuton
. Chapman was the beneficiary of a nifty header by John Walrath, who was in the path of a diagonal ball and headed it behind him from the top of the box, clearing the last BG defender and finding the open Chapman. For Chapman, the goal was his team-leading sixth of the season.
The match was tied at halftime, and remained tied until under 12 minutes remained. The game-winning goal came off of a BGSU counterattack. Freshman Peter Pugliese
started the play, picking up the ball along the right sideline near midfield and sliding a pass toward senior Jake Martin
. As the Falcons attacked with numbers, Martin played the ball to his left, toward redshirt junior Max Auden
. The tri-captain slid a ball into the box, where both junior Joe Sullivan
and sophomore Keaton Reynolds
were stationed near the 12-yard line.
In traffic and facing away from goal, Reynolds was able to poke the ball to his right, where James was relatively unmarked as he entered the box. The senior tri-captain took Reynolds' pass and made no mistake, hitting a low shot with the side of his foot that went under the diving West and into the far side of the goal. West had come a few yards off of his goal line when Auden's ball was played toward Reynolds, and had very little chance of stopping the perfectly-placed James shot.
The hosts had a narrow 9-8 advantage in total shots on the rainy afternoon, and each side put five shots on goal. Both Heuton and West made three saves on the day.
After the home team took the first shot of the match, the Falcons fired the next three. In the 11th minute, a Sullivan shot forced West into a very difficult save, knocking the ball out of play, but the hosts successfully dealt with the ensuing corner kick. Two minutes later, Jake Genrich
, making his first start in over a month, got on the end of another Sullivan corner, but the senior tri-captain's shot sailed high. Genrich missed eight consecutive matches due to injury, before coming off the bench in Friday's match at Buffalo and returning to the starting XI at Appalachian State.
Just over 15 minutes into the match, freshman Ryan Ross
, who had checked into the contest only moments before, got off a shot that went just wide of the near post.
The home team's first real chance came nearly 18 minutes in, when Walrath went in on a semi-breakaway. With a defender trailing him, Walrath uncorked a hard shot, but Heuton made a nifty save to keep the match scoreless. Five minutes later, Heuton made another stop, this time on a curving shot by Ian Bennett. The shot, taken from distance, had a great deal of pace on it, but Heuton saw the ball all the way and had no difficulty making the save.
In the 27th minute, Auden stole a ball in the ASU end of the field and looked to put a pass ahead to the onrushing Ross. The ball was just a little off target, however, and scooted over the end line on the wet field before Ross could reach it.
But, approximately 90 seconds later, the Falcons were on the board on the Souahy header. And, two minutes and 18 seconds after that, the Mountaineers had equalized. Just prior to the ASU goal, Heuton had made a tough save on a hard shot by Chapman near the left post. But, ASU's top scorer got the ball back moments later, and made it a 1-1 game.
Soon after the goal, West made a headlong dive to grab a dangerous-looking cross by redshirt freshman Bismark Agyeman
near the six-yard line. Moments later, a long free kick by Roth found the head of freshman Vincent Giannini
, but his effort sailed wide of the goal. Just over a minute after that, Sullivan had the ball taken off of his foot at the last second as he attempted to work his way into the penalty box.
The only shot attempt for either team in the last 15 minutes of the period came from James. After Pugliese did some impressive work to keep possession on the right side of the field, he cut the ball back and hit a left-footed cross toward the box. The ball was deflected out to James, who fired a shot from distance, but it was well over the bar.
BGSU applied pressure on the ASU defense early in the second period, and that pressure paid off in the form of a corner kick in the 47th minute, but after a few BG passes on the right side of the pitch, West grabbed a crossing ball in the box.
Three minutes later, the Mountaineers won a corner, and Raheem Somersall headed that ball toward the left post. Sullivan, however, was in position to head the ball away from goal, and BGSU cleared it away.
In the 57th minute of play, Auden pounced on a giveaway by the home team, and quickly played a forward ball to Ross, but the freshman's shot from the right side of the box was blocked out of bounds by West. Sullivan took the ensuing corner, and Giannini and a defender battled for possession. Giannini got a head on the ball, but it popped straight into the air, and West corralled it.
Less than a minute later, after a BG foul just outside the box in the Falcons' own end, ASU played a quick free kick. A short pass resulted in a short cross from the right side, and that ball was booted out of play by a Falcon defender just before it reached the near post. Heuton punched away the resulting corner kick, though, and the threat was averted.
Auden came up with another steal as the match moved past the hour mark. He drove downfield on the left side, got past a defender and hit a ball into the box. But, the cross was just behind Sullivan.
With 26 minutes to go, Roth booted a long free kick into the box. It bounced in the front of the penalty area, and Ross attempted to get a head on the ball, but it caromed just over Ross and a defender, and West gratefully grabbed it near the six-yard line. BG won the ball right back, and Ross and Sullivan headed toward goal. But, as Ross found Sullivan with a pass, a Mountaineer backliner knocked the ball away. The Falcons quickly threw the ball back into play, but Martin's cross was grabbed by the ASU 'keeper in the box.
In the 70th minute, Agyeman played a beautiful ball into the box, chipping it over the top and into the path of the onrushing James. West had come charging off of his line in an attempt to reach the ball, and was able to knock the ball away from James as the BG senior looked to get a shot off. The ball went to Sullivan, who took a quick touch to his right and hit a shot. But, West somehow smothered that shot, and the home team eventually cleared the ball out of danger.
Fifty seconds later, the Mountaineers headed toward the BG 18, and Cooper Coughllin found some space and hit a shot, but it was blocked by a Falcon defender.
The Falcons nearly took the lead with 16 minutes to go, as Sullivan got his head on a diagonal ball by Agyeman and nodded it home, just inside the far post. But, the assistant referee's flag was raised, indicating an offside call against the Brown and Orange, and the match remained deadlocked.
Three minutes later, the hosts again threatened, but a Chris O'Grady shot was blocked by Pugliese near the top of the box. And, two minutes later, the Falcons' attack resulted in the James goal.
BG looked to add to the lead, as Roth put a free kick toward goal with exactly 10 minutes to go. But, West plucked the long balll out of the air. James and Ross worked a combination play on the left side, but a cross by James rolled through the box, just out of reach of a teammate.
ASU made a foray into the Falcons' end of the field, and the hosts won a corner kick, but Heuton went over everyone to pick that corner out of the air and end that threat.
With just under three minutes remaining, after a BG foul, the hosts took a free kick from approximately 35 yards out. But, Ross, who was part of a two-man wall, blocked the kick, and BG worked the ball into the offensive end. The Falcons won throw-in after throw-in as the seconds ticked away, before the ball finally went out of bounds for a goal kick with under 30 seconds remaining. West blasted the ball past midfield, and the Mountaineers hurriedly attempted to mount an attack, but a speculative ball toward the box was cleared away by Souahy, and the final seconds ticked away.
The Falcons return home to prepare for a quick turnaround. BGSU will conclude the regular season this weekend, heading to Northeast Ohio for a Mid-American Conference match against the University of Akron. The Falcons and the Zips play a Saturday (Nov. 7) contest beginning at 7:00 p.m. at UA's FirstEnergy Stadium - Cub Cadet Field. BGSU needs a win over the 10th-ranked Zips to have a chance to qualify for the MAC Tournament, which begins a week from Friday (Nov. 13).FALCON NOTES
* With Tuesday's win, BGSU has clinched at least a .500 record this season.
* BGSU is now 8-0-1 this season when scoring two or more goals in a match, and the Falcons are 38-4-5 in such matches in the Eric Nichols
Era. Nichols is in his seventh season as the Falcons' head coach.
* Senior tri-captain Ryan James
scored the ninth goal of his BG career, and his second career game-winner, on Tuesday. James now has four goals this season, matching his career best, and he also has a career-high 13 points this fall. In his career, James has 33 points on nine goals and 15 assists.
* James scored a goal for the second-straight game, as he banged home a free kick in Friday's (Oct. 30) match at Buffalo.
* Sophomore Alexis Souahy
, as mentioned, scored the first goal of his BGSU career. Souahy, in his first season at BG after spending the 2014 season at Notre Dame College, has four points this fall, on the goal and a pair of assists. He had two goals and four points as a freshman at NDC.
* Junior Jacob Roth
picked up an assist on the Souahy goal at ASU. Roth has scored a point in four of the last five matches, and in six of the last eight contests. He has 14 points this season and 32 in his BG career.
* Since the beginning of October, Roth has 10 points on four goals and two assists. He leads the Falcons in goals and points in that time, and is tied for the team assists lead during that stretch. Roth has had a pair of penalty-kick goals in that stretch, but even without those two PKs, he would still lead the team in scoring since the start of October.
* Sophomore Keaton Reynolds
had the primary assist on the James goal Tuesday. Reynolds has four points, both this season and in his BG career. He has scored each of those four points in his last four matches played.
* Redshirt junior Max Auden
also picked up an assist on Tuesday. Auden now has four assists this year and eight in his career. He also has career totals of seven goals and 22 points.
* Senior tri-captain Jake Genrich
made his first start in over a month. Genrich played in each of the Falcons' 64 matches, starting all but one, during his first three-plus years. That streak included the first four matches this season. However, Genrich missed the next two games due to injury, returned to play all 90 minutes of the win over IPFW (Sept. 18), then suffered another injury in the first half of the Dayton contest (Sept. 23). He missed the next eight contests before coming off the bench to see time in Friday's (Oct. 30) Buffalo contest. Genrich played 55 minutes on Tuesday at ASU.
* The Falcons now lead the series with Appalachian State, 1-0-1. Prior to Tuesday, the teams' only meeting was a scoreless draw in the 2010 season opener, at a tournament hosted by Davidson College.